Backpacks are considered the most efficient and safest way to carry books and other school-related items, as they
distribute weight evenly across the body, and are well supported by the back. However, it is important that they weigh
no more than 15% of a child’s body weight; otherwise back and shoulder pain are likely to follow.
When a backpack is filled with heavy items and not worn correctly, the weight can pull the child backward. This leads
to compensating by leaning forward at the hips, or arching the back, causing unnatural compression of the spine.
Try the following to decrease risk of back injury this school year;
1. Limit use for necessities only: Don’t carry extra items back and forth to school.
2. Wear both straps: This distributes weight evenly and promotes good posture.
3. Look for signs that the bag is too heavy: Check to see if your child is slouched or leaning to one side.
4. Choose the right bag: Padded straps prevent shoulder pain, and multiple compartments distribute weight evenly
inside the bag.
5. Pick it up properly: Bend at the knees and grasp with both hands in order to swing it on without straining the